By James GoodwinAugust 1, 2014
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The Civilian Wellness program provides federal civilian employees with an incentive to participate in physical activity during work hours.
"The program has always been out there," said Human resources Director, Ken Washington. "2011 is when we really got it going here on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall."
When the program became policy some three years ago, it focused only on physical fitness, but has since added mental, nutritional and medical health to the services provided, according to Washington.
The program is a contract between an employee and their supervisor for the employee to take one hour, three days a week, for six months to participate in some form of physical activity here on the installation.
Instead of working eight hours those days, the employee only works seven, Washington said.
Washington also said the program is meant to encourage employees to evaluate their current fitness condition and improve their overall aspirations to live healthy lifestyles. Despite the program lasting only six months, employees are encouraged to continue being physically active after they have completed it.
To get started, employees must fill out a personal readiness assessment.
"This is the most important part," said Washington. "If the employee has any history, for example, of fainting during physical exercise, we require them to get approval from their healthcare provider."
After approval is given, employees must sign a waiver, releasing JBM-HH of any liability in the event of personal injury while participating in the program.
The program allows JBM-HH employees to utilize the fitness center, basketball and tennis courts and health classes provided by Rader Clinic in order to live a healthier lifestyle, and is involved with the Performance Triad health initiative, which encompasses educational tools on all facets of a healthy lifestyle.
For those who work out regularly already, the program offers on-the-clock time to continue to do so.
"I already worked out, but the program kept me on track," said Tamika Wright, Executive Management and Housing Directorate. "If I couldn't make it in the mornings I would use the hour given for an afternoon workout."
Still, the program is available to all employees, regardless of current fitness levels. Those who do not work out regularly are encouraged to use the program as an opportunity to add a "positive experience" to their work days, according to Wright.
"Just try it, even if it is just walking," said Wright. "Once you get started, the rest becomes easy."
The Performance Triad is an important part of the program's success, and combines the effort of many different parts of the JBM-HH community.
"With Rader Clinic as our sister-partner in the Performance Triad brief, we can provide more health information to the employees," said Washington.
"We also discovered that it effects the morale when an employee sees management give an hour of paid time to dedicate to exercise and they think 'well maybe they do care about my health' so to me it is very serious business," said Washington.
For more information about the Civilian Wellness program or for a copy of the enrollment form, contact your supervisor or call the Human Resources office at 703-696-5779.